Contents

  1. Design flaws with the post of CDS
  2. Amidst a tragedy, an opportunity
  3. Capping prices of non-scheduled drugs is a bad idea

DESIGN FLAWS WITH THE POST OF CDS

Why in news?

  • The Chief of Defence Staff, apart from being the head of the Department of Military Affairs, will also be the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Raksha Mantri [RM] on all tri ­Services matters

Process of subordination

  • As Secretary in charge of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and having superintendence over the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, there would be an implied subordination of the three service chiefs to the CDS notwithstanding any declaration to the contrary.
  • The CDS, as Permanent Chairperson of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, would outrank the three service chiefs even though theoretically all are four star.
  • Moreover the advice of the CDS could override the advice of the respective Service Chiefs on critical tactical and perhaps even strategic issues
  • Since the DMA would exercise control over the three services, it virtually makes the CDS the ‘Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces’

AMIDST A TRAGEDY, AN OPPORTUNITY

Why in news?

Wildfires burning more than 12 million hectares of land, destroying native flora, killing thousands of wild animals, including endangered species, and displacing residents and

tourists, has resulted into an emergency situation in Australia.

The tag of Australia as “the lucky country”, with its abundance of natural resources, good weather, and its relative geographical isolation from the turbulence of the world is facing one of the worst challenges in the form of wildfire.

However, This could be turned into an opportunity

Dialogue on energy

  • India and Australia can translate their rapidly converging interests and coalescing of values into a formidable partnership for the 21st century.
  • The debate on global warming, climate change and fossil fuels is going to intensify in the weeks ahead, even while scientists grapple with the new evidence
  • Australia and India can cooperate in the quest for alternative sources of energy.
  • As two economies with a great stake holding in fossil fuels, it is critical for India and Australia to ensure that their dialogue on energy acquires momentum.
  • From water management to trauma research to skills and higher education, from maritime and cybersecurity to counterterrorism, a world of opportunities awaits the two countries if they can work in coordination.
  • Apart from being two English speaking, multicultural, federal democracies that believe in and respect the rule of law, both have a strategic interest in ensuring a free, open, inclusive and rules ­based Indo-Pacific  region in which the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are ensured

CAPPING PRICES OF NON-SCHEDULED DRUGS IS A BAD IDEA

Why in news?

December 2019 move to allow a one-time hike of 50% in the price-caps of 12 drugs—consisting of 21 drug formulations

Details

  • Government read the signals from the market that high-API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) costs were pushing up costs for manufacturers, and thus, the price cap effectively would translate into poor availability of these drugs
  • price cap on drugs forced the manufacturers to obtain the cheapest raw material with the basic minimum efficacy/quality
  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), along with the department of pharmaceuticals, is finalising a proposal to limit the trade margins of non-scheduled drugs and medical devices that are not supposed to be under the price control.
  • NPPA has also used the special powers under the Drugs (Price Control) order 2013 to slash ceiling prices of some non-scheduled drugs
  • Standing committee of Parliament had recommended that most drugs should be brought under price control
  • The Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 provides for price-hikes, but only based on revisions in the WPI, without considering the actual cost of manufacturing such as the rising prices of APIs.
  • So, even the relief from periodic hikes may not be timely. This will only be to the detriment of the patients—what good is affordability if there are not enough drugs to serve the demand
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